Birthplace: England (Yorkshire)
Countryside (shooting & fishing); Myth; Archaeology; Translation (including Eastern European Poetry). Collaboration with Peter Brook.
Original Greek and Latin Source(s)
Aeschylus, Euripides, Ovid, Seneca, Homer.
Racine, Virgil, Dante
General Comment Hughes draws on (whether directly or indirectly) Aeschylus, Euripides, Ovid, Seneca, Racine, and a little Homer (perhaps via Virgil and Dante). Use of 'Atom' in Tales from Ovid recalls Lucretius. Classical material also mediated via Shakespeare. Hughes' introduces imaginative leaps between ancient texts (or his ideas about these), myth and nature, for example, his habit of imagining birds in terms of Olympian deities.
Significant features of Hughes' interaction with classical material are: dialogue with myth rather than classical text; linguistic experimentation rather than close translation; interpolation and transposition; focus on images (especially from nature) and on famous figures; anthropological rather than historical framing of myth and the responses to it in the ancient authors; achronological allusions that use a classical or allusion to link two or more part classical figures or situations.